Live From Baghdad

Sunday, 8 December 2002

last night i had the misfortune to watch some blatant anti-​Iraq propaganda. Live From Baghdad is nothing more than a modern day Divide&Conquer. Not only is the film a giant commercial for CNN, but it also presents such a frightening picture of Iraqi despotism that it might as well just come out and say ‘All your base are belong to us.’ It makes about as much sense. Twelve years after the first war, it can already be produced by HBO as a nostalgic reminder of the courage of American journalists in their noble quest to uncover the truth of what is happening in Iraq. Of course, Robert Weiner (Michael Keaton) is sympathetic to the desire Iraqis have for not going to war, but paradoxically, his empathy is subsumed by the fact that they are always at gunpoint. Typical of Hollywood, on the surface it takes away US responsibility for starting the war, by making us associate Weiner the representative of general US ideology. In fact it solves no problems and merely facilitates the growth of anti-​Iraq sentiment. Most telling in the film is the portrayal of the Kuwaiti baby killings as fact, when it was later proven to have never occurred.